First Corinthians 2021
What's wrong with you people?
WHAT A FAITHFUL EVANGELIST LOOKS LIKE: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
September 19, 2021
DISCUSSION 1. Read verse 1. What did Paul not do when he came to Corinth? What does he mean by “with lofty speech or wisdom”? How can 2 Corinthians 4:2 help clarify? Are you given to lofty speech and wisdom, or do you stick to the open statement of the truth? 1. Read verse 1. What did Paul not do when he came to Corinth? What does he mean by “with lofty speech or wisdom”? How can 2 Corinthians 4:2 help clarify? Are you given to lofty speech and wisdom, or do you stick to the open statement of the truth?
CHRIST LOVES HIS MESSY BRIDE: Acts 18:1-11
July 4, 2021 • Brett Baggett
OUTLINE I. Because Christ loves His people, He got the gospel to Corinth (v. 1) II. Because Christ loves His people, He gave Paul new friends so that he would not grow discouraged as he preached the gospel (vv. 2-4) III. Because Christ loves His people, He made it so that Paul could preach the gospel everyday (v. 5) IV. Because Christ loves His people, though many opposed and reviled Paul at first, God overcame their hard hearts and saved them (vv. 6-8) V. Because Christ loves His people, He protected, commanded, & encouraged Paul so that His people would hear the gospel & be saved (vv. 9-11) PERSONAL APPLICATION I) If you are one of His people, the Lord Jesus Christ will never give up on you. II) Christians grow more slowly than we would like. III) When God reproves, rebukes, and exhorts you through His word, do not be surprised—He is doing it for your good, so that you may be holy and happy. EVANGELISTIC APPLICATION I) Though sinners may oppose and revile you at first, God can overcome their animosity in an instant II) Nothing can happen to hurt us without the Lord Jesus’ permission III) You must not give up preaching the gospel, for God surely has many of His people in our cities also QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. Read verses 1-4. Where did Paul come from and where did he end up? What happened when he arrived at Corinth and how was this a kindness of God toward Paul? What kind of activity did Paul engage in once he arrived at Corinth? When did he engage in it and what, therefore, is Luke trying to tell us? What can we learn from Paul’s example here? 2. In verse 4, what two verbs are used to describe Paul’s method of evangelization to these Bible-believing Jews? 3. The NASB translation says, in verse 5, “But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word…” How does this help us understand what Silas and Timothy brought with them when they came to Corinth from Macedonia? How do Philippians 4:15 and 2 Corinthians 11:9 help clarify? What does this teach us concerning the importance of supporting pastors, church planters, and missionaries? 4. According to verse 6, how did the Corinthians initially respond to the preaching of the gospel? How does 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 shine light on why they initially responded in this way? How did Paul then respond to their opposition and reviling? What does Paul mean by, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent”? How does 1 Kings 2:37 help clarify? 5. What happened immediately following Paul saying, “From now on I will go to the Gentiles” according to verses 7-8? How does this highlight the sovereignty of God in saving sinners? How do 1 Corinthians 1:24 and 1 Corinthians 3:7 help clarify what happened here? 6. Read verses 9-11. Why did Jesus appear to Paul in a vision? What can we learn in these verses concerning the Lord Jesus’ love for His people? According to verse 11, how well did Paul know this church that he writes the letter of 1 Corinthians to?
SANCTIFIED IN CHRIST JESUS: 1 Corinthians 1:1-3
July 11, 2021 • Brett Baggett
OUTLINE I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN? (v. 2b) I) To be a Christian means that you have been “sanctified in Christ Jesus.” If you are a Christian, you have been sanctified through being made holy by God with the righteousness of Jesus (1 Cor. 1:2). If you are a Christian, you have been sanctified by being set apart by God Himself for holy service to Him (John 17:19). If you are a Christian, you are being sanctified through being transformed by God the Holy Spirit to be more holy in your thoughts, affections, and actions (1 Pet. 1:2; Phil. 2:12-13) II) Therefore, to be a Christian means you have received a new identity and are now a “saint.” II. HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A CHRISTIAN? (v. 2c) I) A Christian calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy (1 Cor. 1:2c; Luke 18:11-13) II) A Christian submits to Jesus as Lord (1 Cor. 1:2c; John 14:15) III. WHAT IS PROMISED TO ME IF I AM A CHRISTIAN? (v. 3) I) If you are in Christ, you are promised "grace...from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 3) II) If you are in Christ, you are promised "peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 3) STUDY AND DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 1. According to verse 1, who wrote this letter? What is Paul, and why should these Christians listen to him? How does 1 Thessalonians 2:13 help clarify? Do you accept the word of Jesus’ Prophets and Apostles as the word of men or the word of God? 2. Who is Paul writing to, according to verse 2? Who does the church belong to? What has God done to the church? What has God effectually called the church to be? Who does the church submit to as Lord? 3. In verse 3, what does Paul pronounce upon the saints at Corinth? What does grace mean? What does peace mean? According to verse 3, who does grace and peace come from?
SAINTS ARE ENRICHED IN CHRIST JESUS: 1 Corinthians 1:4-7
July 18, 2021 • Brett Baggett
OUTLINE I. IN CHRIST, YOUR PAST LIFE IS PAID FOR BY THE GRACE OF GOD (v. 4) II. IN CHRIST, YOUR PRESENT LIFE IS PROVIDED FOR BY THE GRACE OF GOD (v. 5-7a) I) As a saint, you are richly provided for in every way (v. 5a) II) As a saint, you are enriched in all speech to speak the truth, especially the gospel (v. 5b) III) As a saint, you are enriched in all knowledge to understand the gospel (v. 5c-6) IV) As a saint, you are enriched in every gift you need to build up the body of Christ (v. 7a) III. IN CHRIST, YOUR FUTURE LIFE IS PROMISED BY THE GRACE OF GOD (v. 7b) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. According to verse 4, why does Paul give thanks to God? How frequently does Paul give thanks for the Corinthians? How did the Corinthians receive grace? Who did this grace come through? 2. According to verse 5, in how many ways were the Corinthians enriched in Christ? Was does it mean to be “enriched…in all speech and all knowledge”? 3. Read verse 6. What is “confirmed among” the Corinthians? What is “the testimony about Christ”? Do you personally confirm the testimony about Christ and trust in Him alone or do you still rely on your own works or the works of someone else? 4. For what reason are the saints “enriched…in all speech and knowledge” according to verse 7? What does Paul remind these believers of at the end of verse 7? How should this both sober and encourage you as you use the gifts God has given you to serve Him and His church?
SUSTAINED BY GOD TO THE END: 1 Corinthians 1:8-9
July 25, 2021 • Brett Baggett
OUTLINE I. If you belong to Jesus, God Himself will sustain you to the end (v. 8a) II. If you belong to Jesus, when Christ returns God Himself will exonerate you, presenting you guiltless at the judgement (v. 8b) III. God’s faithfulness is the reason Jesus’ people are presently sustained, and will be eventually presented guiltless (v. 9a) I) Because God is faithful, your present sustaining and your future blamelessness is secure. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” II) Because God is faithful, you can say no when tempted. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” III) Because God is faithful, you will be guarded against Satan. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 “the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” V) Because God is faithful, you will not be thrown out of His family in moments of your unfaithfulness. 2 Timothy 2:13 “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” VI) Because God is faithful, you can keep holding on to Christ and His gospel, knowing the promises will be fulfilled. Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” VII) Because God is faithful, you can entrust your soul to Him in the midst of even great suffering. 1 Peter 4:19 “Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” VIII) Because God is faithful, He forgives sin and cleanses of all unrighteousness those who confess and come to Him through Jesus. 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” IX) Because God is faithful, you can believe every Word of the Bible. Revelation 3:14 Jesus calls Himself, “the Amen, the faithful and true witness,” X) Because God is faithful, you can trust Him to make righteous judgements and war on His enemies. Revelation 19:11 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.” IV. The same faithful God that called you into fellowship with His Son, is the One that will both establish and exonerate you (v. 9b) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. Read verse 8. What is “the day of the Lord Jesus Christ”? What do you need to be in that day, according to verse 8? How can you be found “guiltless” given that you have sinned against God (Rom. 3:23)? How does Romans 8:1 help clarify? How will you be sustained “to the end” in order to be presented guiltless, according to the beginning of verse 8? 2. Read verse 9. What does Paul teach us about God here? What does Paul mean by, “God is faithful”? What is the action that Paul ascribes to God in verse 9? What does it mean to be “called” by God, and how is that different than being called by a man? Into what does God call believers? What does it mean to be in “fellowship” with “Jesus Christ our Lord”?
SAINTS MUST EMBRACE UNITY AND REJECT QUARRELING: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13
August 1, 2021 • Pastor Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:10–13
OUTLINE I. Saints in the same assembly must be be diligent to make sure there are no divisions among them (v. 10a) II. Saints in the same assembly must be united in confession (v. 10a) III. Saints in the same assembly must be united in doctrine (v. 10b) IV. Saints in the same assembly must be united in affection (v. 10c) V. When saints in the same assembly are not united, they tend to quarrel; and quarreling is a great evil in the eyes of God (v. 11) VI. Divisions and quarrels inevitably come when saints base their identity on things other than Christ (v. 12) VII. Unity as a local church is important because we represent Christ, and He is not divided (v. 13) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. Read verse 10. Here Paul begins to address one of the primary concerns he had for writing this letter: pride and its dangerous effects which lead to disunity in the body of Christ. By what authority does Paul appeal to these Christians? What is Paul pleading with them to do and be? What kind of unity is he calling for, and how do the words “mind” and “judgement” help clarify? 2. According to verse 11, why was Paul compelled to appeal to the Corinthians to “agree,” and get rid of “divisions” so that they may be “united”? How do 1 Corinthians 3:3 and Galatians 5:20 shine light on why these quarrels needed to be repented of? 3. According to verse 12, what was the nature of the “divisions among” the Corinthians? How does John the Baptist’s principle in John 3:30 help us see the error the Corinthians had fallen into? 4. Read verse 13. What is Paul getting at when he asks these three rhetorical questions?
THE PRIMARY ROLE OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL: 1 Corinthians 1:14-17
August 8, 2021 • Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:14–17
OUTLINE I. THE PRIMARY MISSION OF A SERVANT OF CHRIST IS NOT TO BAPTIZE (vv. 14-17a) II. THE PRIMARY MISSION OF A SERVANT OF CHRIST IS TO PREACH THE GOSPEL (v. 17a) III. HOW MUST A FAITHFUL SERVANT PREACH THE GOSPEL? (v. 17b) IV. WHY MUST A SERVANT OF CHRIST PREACH THE GOSPEL PLAINLY? (v. 17c) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. What does Paul thank God for in verse 14? How does verse 15 clarify why Paul gave thanks for this? What can we learn from verse 16? 2. According to verse 17, what had Christ sent Paul to do? Do you think Paul means to belittle water baptism here, or does he have something else in mind? What do you think Paul means by “Not with eloquent words of wisdom”? How would this lead to “the cross of Christ [being] emptied of its power”?
THE WORD OF THE CROSS IS FOLLY AND POWER: 1 Corinthians 1:18-19
August 15, 2021 • Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:18–19
OUTLINE I. WHAT IS THE WORD OF THE CROSS? (v. 18a) “The word of the cross” is essentially this: We are so wicked that Jesus had to die, and so loved that He was willing to. I) Though God made man upright and blessed us with holiness, righteousness, and knowledge, we used our free will to rebel against Him; in Adam, we all sinned. (Genesis 1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Ephesians 4:24; Romans 5:12) II) “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:20) III) “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Hebrews 9:22; Leviticus 17:11; Leviticus 16) IV) “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners” by willingly “laying down his life” for all who would come to faith in Him. (1 Timothy 1:15; John 10:18) V) “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12) II. WHY IS THE WORD OF THE CROSS FOLLY TO THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING? (v. 18a) I) The word of the cross is folly to some because they are fools themselves, saying in their heart “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1) II) The word of the cross is folly to some because they do not think God will judge them for their sin (Psalm 10:13) III) The word of the cross is folly to some because they presume on the goodness and patience of God (Romans 2:4-5) IV) The word of the cross is folly to some because they have their minds set NOT on the things of God, but only on the things of man (Matthew 16:22-23) V) The word of the cross is folly to some because they think they are basically good, and therefore they have no need for a crucified Savior (Mark 2:16-17) VI) The word of the cross is folly to some because if they cannot earn heaven by their works and receive some glory for their actions, they will not have it (Galatians 2:21) VII) The word of the cross is folly to some because it beckons them to take up their own cross and follow the crucified King (Matthew 16:24) VIII) The primary reason the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing is because they love their sin and do not want to give it up (John 3:19-20) III. WHY IS THE WORD OF THE CROSS THE POWER OF GOD TO US WHO ARE BEING SAVED? (v. 18b) The word of the cross is the power of God to us who are being saved because God, in His great mercy, by His Spirit, transformed our dark hearts that once loved sin. God abolished all of the foolish reasons that led us to see the cross as folly, therefore we now see and trust in Christ and His cross as the power of God to save us. I) The word of the cross is power because it announces that we who believe have been forgiven of our sins (Ephesians 1:7) II) The word of the cross is power because it properly motivates we saints to keep killing our sin and therefore keep growing in holiness (Colossians 3:3-5) III) The word of the cross is power because it reminds believers that because Christ was condemned in our place, there is now no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1) IV) The word of the cross is power because it assures us that Christ paid far too high a price for us to ever leave us or forsake us—therefore we can kill our worries and anxieties (1 Peter 5:7; Romans 8:32) V) The word of the cross is power because it declares that Christ suffered in His people’s place so that He would one day rid the entire universe of suffering, therefore comforting us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) VI) The word of the cross is power because it assures we believers in Christ Jesus of God’s love for us (1 John 4:10) IV. THE LORD’S SOVEREIGN PLAN IS TO DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THWART THEIR SUPPOSED CLEVERNESS, FOR HIS OWN GLORY (v. 19) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. What does Paul mean by “the word of the cross” in the first half of verse 18? What is it “to those who are perishing”? What does “folly” mean? What does “perishing” mean? Rephrase the first half of verse 18 in your own words. 2. What is “the word of the cross” “to us who are being saved” according to the second half of verse 18? What does Paul mean by “the power of God”? How does Romans 1:16 help clarify? What does Paul mean by “to us who are being saved”? Consider this verse. If you are in Christ, why is the word of the cross no longer folly to you? 3. Read verse 19. What Old Testament passage is Paul quoting? What does the Prophet mean, and why do you think Paul quotes this verse here?
GOD MADE FOOLISH THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD: 1 Corinthians 1:20-21
August 22, 2021 • Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:20–21
OUTLINE I. GOD HAS MADE FOOLISH THE WORDLY WISE BECAUSE SALVATION DOES NOT COME THROUGH THEIR WISDOM (vv. 20-21a) II. GOD HAS MADE FOOLISH THE SCRIBE BECAUSE SALVATION DOES NOT COME THROUGH THE LAW (vv. 20-21a) III. GOD HAS MADE FOOLISH THE SCRIBE BECAUSE SALVATION DOES NOT COME THROUGH THE LAW (vv. 20-21a) IV. IT PLEASED GOD TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE THROUGH THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL (v. 21) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. Read verse 20. Who all does Paul summon, as it were? What is Paul’s concluding question at the end of verse 20, and what does he mean? 2. Read verse 21. What does man not know according to worldly wisdom? How can you truly come to know God and be saved from sin by Him? How does Romans 10:13-17 help clarify?
WHAT SINNERS WANT AND WHAT PREACHERS MUST DO: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
August 29, 2021 • Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:22–25
OUTLINE I. SINNERS WANT EITHER A SHOW OR SOMETHING NEW (v. 22) II. FAITHFUL PREACHERS PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED (v. 23a) III. FAITHFUL PREACHERS PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED BECAUSE IT GIVES PEOPLE WHAT THEY TRULY NEED (vv. 23b-24) I) Faithful preachers preach Christ crucified because this is how God gives sinners the gifts of repentance and faith. II) Faithful preachers preach Christ crucified because this is how God reminds His people that the sins they still battle are truly forgiven for Christ’s sake. III) Faithful preachers preach Christ crucified because this is how God continually works a hatred for sin and desire for holiness in believers. IV) Faithful preachers preach Christ crucified because this is how God assures His saints of His big-hearted love for them! V) Faithful preachers preach Christ crucified because in this message God strengthens believers in the fact that He has paid far too high a price for them to ever kick them out of His family. VI) Faithful preachers preach Christ crucified because this is how God comforts His people by reminding them that just as He forgave them by Christ’s death, He will also raise them to eternal life in glory though His resurrection. IV. FAITHFUL SAINTS NOW SEE CHRIST CRUCIFIED AS THE WISDOM OF GOD AND THE POWER OF GOD (v. 24b-25) EXHORTATION (sinners) You who still reject Christ: you need something to happen to you that you cannot control. Cry out to God and ask Him to call you to Himself. Then trust in Christ crucified and you will be saved. EXHORTATION (saints) You who are “the called”—who embrace Christ crucified through faith, I) Worship God as you consider His wisdom and power in saving you. II) Fill your thoughts with Christ Jesus and Him crucified and you will be assured of His tender love and affection for you. III) Thank the Holy Spirit who caused even you to be born again to a living hope. IV) Depend on the same Spirit that brought you to life to strengthen your life to serve and obey the Lord. V) Make it your aim in all of your life to say with Paul, “We preach Christ crucified." QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. What do Jews demand according to verse 22? How does Matthew 16:1-4 help clarify what Paul means here? How does Jesus rebuke those who demand signs? What do Greeks demand according to verse 22? How does Acts 17:21 help clarify what Paul was getting at? 2. Read verse 23. Rather than giving signs to the Jews or worldly wisdom to the Greeks, what do Paul and other faithful ministers of Christ do? How should this direct the way you engage in evangelism and apologetics? Why do you think the preaching of “Christ crucified” was a stumbling block to the Jew? Why do you think the preaching of “Christ crucified” was folly to Gentiles? 3. According to verse 24, how does the preaching of “Christ crucified” become the power of God and the wisdom of God to those who once stumbled over it and called it folly? What does Paul mean by “called”? What is God saying about the way He saves sinners? How does 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 help clarify? 4. What is Paul getting at in verse 25?
HOW GOD SAVES SINNERS AND WHY: Corinthians 1:26-29
September 5, 2021 • Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:26–29
I. WHY DOES GOD SAVE SINNERS? (vv. 26-27a) I) God does not save sinners because they are wise (v. 26a) II) God does not save sinners because they are powerful (v. 26b) III) God does not save sinners because of their lineage or family (v. 26c) IV) God saves sinners according to His own sovereign choice (v. 27a) Believer, God chose to save you even though you were part of the worst family—Adam’s family (1 Corinthians 15:22); He chose to save you even though you were weak and helpless (Romans 5:6); He chose to send His only Son in order to trade places with you on the cross (Isaiah 53:10); and God chose to regenerate your dead spiritually self by His Spirit despite the fact that you were foolish (Titus 3:3-7). II. WHY DOES GOD SAVE SINNERS ACCORDING TO HIS OWN SOVEREIGN CHOICE? (vv. 27-29) I) God saves sinners according to His own sovereign choice in order to shame the wise, strong, and noble (vv. 27-28) II) God saves sinners according to His own sovereign choice so that not even one person would boast in His presence (v. 29) QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION 1. What does Paul mean by “calling” in verse 26? How does verse 24 help clarify? What does Paul say the Corinthians were not? Why should your “calling,” Christian, cause you to rejoice and praise God? 2. According to verses 27 and 28, what did God choose and why? What exactly is Paul getting at here? 3. According to verse 29, why did God do what Paul describes in verses 27-28? Is boasting in the presence of God a good thing or a bad thing for a human being to do? Rephrase the meaning of verse 29 in your own words. Do you “boast in the presence of God”?
SAINTS ARE UNITED TO CHRIST FOR GOD’S GLORY: Corinthians 1:30-31
September 12, 2021 • Brett Baggett • 1 Corinthians 1:30–31
Big idea: God saves sinners by single-handedly uniting them to His Son. God gives them Christ’s priceless benefits, so that all the redeemed would boast alone in God alone. I. HOW DOES GOD SAVE SINNERS? (v. 30a) I) God saves sinners by single-handedly uniting them to His Son. II. WHAT BENEFITS DOES GOD GIVE TO THOSE THAT HE UNITES TO HIS SON? (v. 30b) I) God made Christ our wisdom (v. 30b) II) God made Christ our righteousness (v. 30c) III) God made Christ our sanctification (v. 30d) IV) God made Christ our redemption (v. 30e) III. WHY DOES GOD SAVE SINNERS BY SINGLE-HANDEDLY UNITING THEM TO HIS SON? (v. 31) I) God saves sinners singlehandedly by uniting them to His Son so that we who are saved would boast only in the Lord. QUESTIONS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION I. According to verse 30, why are saints “in Christ Jesus”? What does it mean to be “in Christ Jesus”? What does Paul say Jesus “became to us”? What do each of these nouns mean that follow “who became to us” in verse 30? II. According to verse 31, why does God sovereignly save sinners?